Dravidians are terrible

Its honestly weird that majority of the civs have better elephants than dravidians who literally have the longest history of training elephants and the largest standing elephant armies in the history. I feel like they should get Malay’s bonus to be honest but no elite elephants with husbandry, but no bloodlines, to act as a strange knight line replacement that is slower and to get heresy, after all, most of the dravidian empires were deeply religious, this way, they would get a decent fighting chance in castle against knights, atleast defensively as cheaper elephants can hold in castle against knights and can allow them to possibly reach their full potential in late game wootz steel.

Otherwise, you gotta win in feudal or you simply cant win. Their eco bonus is very weird, the bonus wood on age up gives a small powerspike that does not last beyond like a couple of minutes.


Yes about historical accuracy

  1. Move wootz steel to castle age very old tech lasted for more than 2000 years.
  2. Monks should be one of the most powerful.(Bhakti Movement)
  3. Imperial age tech for Elephants. like 30hp per minute and cost 30% lessor 40% more hp
  4. Thirisadai is okay. Since Tamil/Kannada/Telugu/Malayalam has many slangs Thirisadai may one of the word used for a big warship. Devs told they used this name from a old chola stone to name the ship.
  5. If Indian civs dont get knight why does south east civs get knights? Hindustanis and Gurjaras have camels/shrivamsha raiders as knight replacement. Bengalis have rathas. What do Dravidians have?
  6. Dravidians had a good cavalry army anyway.
  7. Their Farms should be top tier, but lacks crop rotation
  8. They should get stone mining, since historically They mined big big mountains for ores even during 300 bc.
  9. Siege discount is okay since they had good siege in vijayanagara empire.

But one thing they should have the best monks and best elephants if it should be historically accurate. Since even Southeast civs followed Dravidian style in their warfare. How come they have weak elephants.

But for balance changes Dravidians cannot be good at everything if considering historical accuracy. So they sacrificed. But sacrificed too much.

So Balance Changes would look

  1. Monks get redemption. No techs removed.
  2. Add Bloodlines and husbundry or final armour( Old Japanes didnt have both but they got it).
  3. Urumi +1 pierce +5hp -5 food.
  4. Medical corps replaced with tamil name or any old south indian word and add additional feature. like heal 30hp per minute and +30% more hp or costs 30% less or costs 50% less gold or food.
  5. Also reduce wootz steel cost to 600 Food 450 Gold.

No techs need to be removed. They need only additional techs.

Dravidians are good. no need rework. Just additional techs and little change to unique tech and unique unit is enough. They will be balanced.

Not at all. It was completely made up by an anonymous Wikipedia editor, down to the name. It’s complete fiction.


They have weak Battle Elephants, but not weak elephants. Much like Battle Elephants aren’t a 1v1 unit, neither are Elephant Archers. Dravidian Elephant Archers are very strong, so I’d argue this is ‘historically accurate’ by your logic.

Honestly, for now I’d just give them Redemption and that’s that, I don’t think they’ll need much else, as with Redemption they’ll have very serviceable Monks that’s also in line with ‘historical accuracy’. No need to overbuff them and if Redemption isn’t enough, then the civ can be looked at again in the future.

Trash BE would be able to push castles without spending gold which is significant in the trash war stage of the game, especially since Dravidian AE cost more gold than generic rams while having less HP. With Wootz steel, trash BE can beat anything except halbs and Dravidians have lots of options against halbs. So, it can help force an opponent into options that Dravidians are strong against. Dravidian halbs and skirms are already better than FU. It is a tech for stage of the game that is rarely ever reached, but strong in that situation.
Overall, it isn’t great but still better than Kamandaran. Anyway, the main benefit is historical accuracy. Dravidians would be able to make a lot of elephants without sacrificing long term strategy, depending on how the UT is priced.

Are you trying to say, ‘noobs know better than pros sometimes’? That is very arrogant. It is incredibly difficult to come up with anti-meta strategies that work against pros. Hoang rush, Noboru rush (which doesn’t count because devs nerfed it into oblivion) and Persian Douche are more or less the only ones. Even those are not that great. Pros learnt that Hoang rush can be easily countered by getting Redemption (which Dravidians don’t have) and they also learnt to efficiently counter Persian Douche as well. They still work against pros from time to time, but it is very rare. Pros still rate those civs as low tier because they can counter these strategies efficiently.
Pros play many more games than noobs and make way fewer mistakes and even get matched occasionally with noobs in 1v1 and TGs. It has been a year since Dravidians were released. There is a very very low chance that there is some playstyle left to discover with Dravidians. Even if there was some super-secret noob strategy that Dravidians can use, pros would likely see it and learn how to counter it efficiently. Basing your entire argument on some strategy that no one can successfully execute against the pros makes your argument very weak. Noobs also make different mistakes every game. Saying you got value out of some tech or bonus does not mean pros don’t know what they are doing. It more likely means that you were matched with an opponent who made a lot of mistakes that let you get value out of it. That is all.

Or are you trying to say, ‘Dravidians are a beginner civ like Goths and that is okay’? The problem with that is that Goths are very simple: get to Imp and flood infantry. Dravidians are not simple and are a DLC civ. New players may not even get the DLC. Also, Goths got a buff to help them at pro level so Dravidians should also be buffed.

Their strength and uniqueness are not enough to stop opponents from taking advantage of their weaknesses and winning.

Or it could be that players have tried it and found that it is not worth it. Every action has a reaction and pros sometimes don’t do certain things to avoid vulnerability to the counter. Don’t criticize pros for not trying things that work at your level. For example, consider shore fish that sometimes spawn on Arabia.

  1. The pathing to it is inconsistent and trees can be in the way sometimes.
  2. Taking shore fish means vills have to walk between the TC and the shore fish which leaves them vulnerable to the early scout.
    a) Loom would help, but that is a penalty to your eco so early in the game. Most players get loom at the end of Dark age or early Feudal.
    b) Another option is milling and walling the shore fish which costs a lot of extra wood.
  3. The consequence of putting vills on shore fish is that vills are not under the TC. That means the TC cannot zone out a drush and the scout can steal your sheep.
  4. You also need vills under a TC to lure the boar, otherwise the enemy scout can interrupt and kill the luring vill.
  5. In Feudal Age, taking shore fish is riskier than just farming around the TC, if you can get food closer to the TC why would you go to the shore fish?
  6. You cannot place many farms around a shore fish mill, so that is a waste in the long run.

These are the reasons I can come up with of the top of my head. There may be more, and pros would know better.

Lastly, here is a new video of Viper beating Dravidians. He even said Poles are not good on that map and still won.

I think devs are committed to keeping Dravidian stable very bad, so it is unlikely they will get these techs even if it would fix them. Japanese don’t have to have a uniquely bad stable because that place can now be occupied by Dravidians. If Dravidians get a better stable, devs would want to ruin the stable of another civ.

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Everyone knows it is true. Wootz steel is just a heavy cost for the bonus that Burmese get for free for all practical situations. I don’t know which one sounds like a false image to you but none of what I said were false. No one can open elephants or elephant archers and play them all game along. Skirms with a bonus still die to knights. Ethiopians have free pike upgrade, Slavs have free gambesons and supplies, Incas and Goths have naturally cheap infantry, Bulgarians have free militia line upgrades and half the food cost of blacksmith upgrades. For every bonus Dravidians get, there’s a civ with a better bonus. And none of their bonus justifies or accomodates lack of several important upgrades and any kind of anti-siege, anti-archer, raiding unit.
Meso civs are different and good, Gurjaras are different and good, Dravidians are different but not good.

Yes I can create a civ with no knights, no monks, no crossbows but put flaming camels in stable and give a bonus saying flaming camel explosion gives 5 gold. It will be unique, it will have strength but its an abysmal civ with an unusable bonus. Being unique and usable are completely different things. Dravidians are strictly usable only on water maps where multiple docks are built.

Just think practically. People took the pain of babysitting folwark and farm placements to use Poles bonus or completely changed their dark age build order to accomodate the Gurjara bonus. If something is good people ALWAYS use it for winning.
You get 1 patch of shore fish and Dravidian bonus doesn’t remove drop-off like Khmer farm. If you take the 200 food in shore fish and villager keeps walking 10 tiles to the tc, its effectively slower than berries. It might be even worse for other civs but even for Dravidians it will be slower


I don’t think so. However I think 70 wood is a lot for a trash unit when the unit will juts melt to halb. Maybe 180 food is better if you have a lot farm set up. Then you can combine them with your faster firing skirms to protect them from Halb. But if gold is really limited and you can’t afford siege, isn’t that the situation where Champion should come into play?

Yeah Dravidians is just a blend of all of them with a lower value. If you play full Barracks unit, you will save more resources than any of them. However you don’t have enough infantry bonuses to play full barracks units unlike Goths. One of my dream is Dravidians be the ultimate #1 Infantry civ, over taking Goths.


What I meant is Trash elephants is functionally wrong. You can’t spam a lot of them to be the front line to Arbalesters or hand canoneers because Dravidian elephants lack upgrades. And they’re not a fast unit like light cav to snipe trebs, canons or raid. Suppose if the civ gets this bonus as a secondary outcome to some tech similar to Flaming Camels with Timurid siegecraft, then the Dravidian player can produce a couple of them to reduce the impact of opponent light cav/hussar raids. But its not worth spending resources for an imperial age UT.

Exactly. This is what most of us have been trying to say. Many people just think that if a civ has some random set of bonuses its good, its unique and its something different because it has some bonuses listed in the tech tree but its not. The bonuses have to be usable, competent with other civs’ bonuses, numerically similar in terms of resources gained/saved/military value.

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Actually, Dravidian BE tank arbs and HC better than LC and halbs and take 2 more hits from a halb than Dravidian LC (Dravidian LC take only 2 halb hits, they are exceptionally bad). You can spam a lot of them since they don’t cost gold, and they can be a good meatshield.

True, but those are rare in the trash war stage. So, Dravidians can use LC for sniping siege and trash BE for meatshield.

It really depends on the cost. If it is cheap, you could easily justify researching trash BE.

Also, my balance suggestion was meant to be taken in aggregate rather than individually. Extra range on skirms was meant to fix most of their Castle age problems, so a niche Imp UT would be justified.

I don’t think that will be the job of a trash BE. They will be used to destroy buildings as a replacement of siege while your other 2 trash units - Halb and skirms, both are more than FU, will protect the elephants form enemy Halb. Conclusion, I don’t see the tech is bad at all. But I don’t see it is a good Imperial Age UT either. It will be better if it was a Castle Age UT. And still, don’t solve anything that Dravidians faces every game.

Couldn’t agree more.

Lacking cav is too big in this game, and infantry&archer compositions is weak until Late Game. Vikings suffer same problem, they have insane eco but they aren’t top tier civ due to lack of Bloodlines and Husbandry.

However, I think “Skirmisher and Elephant Archers attack 25% faster.” buffed to 33% and Husbandry is available will be good and buff to Longsword in general. I proposed speed increased from 0.9 and 0.95 and Gambeson is hidden bonus (2 Pierce Armor for Longsword). Urumi Swordman should be 1.20 speed infantry, 30f 25g in return their charge attack completely removed (charge attack with whip dumbest thing I ever saw).

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If you’re giving 2 of 3 missing cavalry upgrades, redemption, buffing urumis and making wootz steel cost its true worth, its more than sufficient. They’ll become a very good civ on closed and hybrid maps, average on open. Most of us made alternate suggestions because there were comments that they’re designed to be a civ without mobility.

Honestly I think Redemption alone is insufficient. But as you said it could be a good starting point.

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I suggest Wootz Steel be moved to Castle Age and the effect be taken away from Urumi Swordsmen. The unit is already really good in melee fights, and the historical urumi was horrible against armored opponents, which would give the unit more historical authenticity. The effect of Medical Corps should then be changed to 45 HP, moved to Imperial Age, and the tech renamed to Chola Elephants, since the tech derives its name from a Wikipedia hoax.


Hera’s “official” Dravidians video

Main points:

  1. Solve the fucking issue with knights skirm support
  2. Give urumis 1 Pierce armour

I was in the stream when he tried the Urumi challenge he used as backing footage for that video. It was…strange. He is not very good at controlling infantry, it seems, and was complaining about how hard they were to micro.

Twitch it’s around 11:22:33

It was interesting, because even though he was(by his own admission) using his urumis very poorly, he still actually drove off the rattans, largely because his Urumis beat the scouts, allowing his remaining skirms to repel the rattans. But then he didn’t resupply his urumis and instead made a mass of pure skirms, which was promptly destroyed by the same light cavalry, and then he lost the game. He was losing urumis about at the same rate as the other guy was losing rattans, but rattans take twice as much gold and take twice as long to build, but Hera still thought he was losing. And then he stopped building the urumis and lost his bombard cannons, and then he actually WAS losing.

It seems like every time Hera plays Dravidians, he ends up making a huge mass of skirms, loses them, and then loses the game. He very rarely makes infantry, and isn’t nearly at his normal level when he does. He also made, I believe, one elephant archer in that game, despite ostensibly being in a perfect use case for them, and despite that one unit actually fulfilling its purpose very well while alive.

Hera just isn’t much of an infantry player, it seems.

I think people are really missing out on the Urumis defensive capabilities. They can basically double as Halbs, because like Halbs, they can do massive damage instantly and protect weaker units from immediate death. Longswords can’t protect skirms or siege against knight/skirm for example, because the Knights can survive long enough to kill the skirms and then the combined army can beat the remaining longswords, but Urumis can kill the knights immediately and then the skirms or siege can beat the other skirms. And unlike halbs, despite taking full damage from them, they at least don’t take bonus damage.

Lol. He has comfortably won with woad raiders, kamayuks, viking infantry units. Simply because those civs and units were usable. Its either possible that both Viper and Hera, considered best in the world are not good with infantry control. Or maybe it’s just the truth that Dravidians and urumis are awful.

OMG…A gold costing infantry unique unit with a very expensive UT killed light cavalry? That’s so … normal.

He couldn’t respawn at that rate because 65 food is a huge cost for a unit that fragile and skirms - urumis is a heavy food combination while light cav rattan archer is a well distributed wood food gold combination.

He makes a lot of skirms because that’s the only usable unit for early imp to buy time for urumis. Infantry once again as mentioned in several other threads are not usable in castle age unless your against Aztecs, mayans which are doing full eagles or the indian civs which don’t have knights. He stopped making urumis when he ran out of gold and the front gold was exposed.
That one elephant archer was also a waste of resources. What at a glance seems to you like a perfect situation neglects the facts that gold was exposed and was at the exact place where battle was happening. It wasn’t elite and getting elite would have depleted his eco. And the fact that elephant archers aren’t going to chase down and kill rattan archers since it’s not a mikeempires hypothetical video. Hera would have gotten raided to death before he could have 20 elite elephant archers. And would have gotten pushed from a different side. You need to have fortified walls everywhere except the central hill where you’re pushing with several trebs and elephant archers to force a fight.

Hera’s infantry play is worse compared to his cavalry or ranged play but its still quite good for his opponent that game. he wasn’t facing Viper, Mr.Yo or some other top 10 player in that game. He was against Hope, who is much weaker player compared to Hera. Pretty damn sure he could have won that game with the “good” infantry units from good civs.

Infantry is fine as a 3rd alternative option to cavalry and ranged like every nonmeso civ but generic Dravidian infantry is 100% not usable as the primary option throughout the game.
50% barrack tech discount is too small of a bonus and whatever little resource is saved gets spent on wootz steel which is just a +3 or +4 attack. Effectively there’s nothing to compensate for the lack of cavalry upgrades, redemption, Fervor, raiding unit. Eco bonus is average, a dozen civs get better ones. And about another dozen and a half get equal savings. You can never get as far ahead as you’d need to be to spam 60+ urumi swordsmen and go for the kill.

As mentioned several times in the thread, they either need mobility or some insanely strong monk bonus+ redemption unlocked or a huge discount on military (like supplies impacting all of their military) or a very strong food eco bonus like 10% extra dropoff by farmers without disturbing the wood bonus. These are the only ways to balance the civ to make their units usable. Otherwise it doesn’t matter whether its Hera or Viper or Liereyy or any of your favorite player. All of them are going to seem bad or slow or not having enough units which is totally not their fault but rather an outcome of the civ’s weakness.


Missing my point, I’m afraid. Most infantry can beat light cavalry, in a direct engagement. What I’m talking about is being able to defend something else. If you send light cavalry into skirms and the skirms die before the light cavalry do, then the infantry have failed. Urumis, by contrast, have nearly the immediate damage as pikemen do, and so are able to save units that otherwise might have died. This is actually the absolute ideal condition for them, because you have units running around them to get to their target, and taking the absolute maximum amount of splash damage possible.

No, he had 1400 food stockpiled, even after having 20+ skirms queued. Resources were not an issue.

A perfectly normal elephant archer will cost you 3.26 resources per rattan hit, compared to an elite skirmisher, which costs you 5 resources per hit. By mixing in a bare handful of elephant archers, you can dramatically increase the durability of your force without upgrading to elite at all, and with a minimal cost to your damage potential.

The biggest mistake people make with elephant archers is exactly what you think he should have done; trying to go for the lategame mass when you lack the time or resources to achieve it. But that isn’t the ONLY use for elephant archers.

Who said anything about Viper? He’s perfectly decent with them, and probably better than Hera, given he gets quite a bit more practice. Hera is very focused on using cavalry; by no means is he bad at anything in this game, but at his level, even small deficiencies in skill can handily lose games.

The fact you bring up Berserks and Woad Raiders, I think, shows what you’re missing here. Both of those civs have top-tier eco bonuses, and infantry can easily win at any time if you have a substantially superior economy.

Urumis are different; the civ doesn’t have that sort of long-term eco bonus, so you can’t count on getting an unbeatable economic lead, and therefore actual skill matters far more.

As I probably said there too, longswords are by no means useless against the knight/skirm combo; not since Gambesons was released and their effective hp was doubled. Again, I think this is a Sicilians type case, where the meta doesn’t adapt until someone goes in and deliberately makes a strategy the meta.

I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Hera even try longswords against that composition, but he really should. Unfortunately, he’s recently been playing on a DLC-free account, so the number of opportunities he has is pretty limited.

If he’d just maintained production, he could have won with urumis, too. The unit wasn’t the problem here. Honestly, just listen to what he says; he complains they take too much damage from skirms, but his enemy didn’t even have any skirms in that match!

I don’t think that’s true. Viper has done in multiple times. The real issue is a lack of commitment. Here is a great game that really shows both sides of the coin;

Earlier on, he sends insufficient urumis at crossbows, and all the urumis die. Later, he sends a force that is just slightly larger(proportionately), and instead obliterates the arbs. The key with Urumis is how quickly they go from useless to powerful, and as long as Hera doubts them and doesn’t go for a greater investment, he’ll never reach that point.

If Urumis are given the extra pierce armor like has been requested, I fully expect them to be nerfed in the next patch because of how OP they’ve become. If they can regularly reach that point of critical mass, they will become almost unstoppable.

Again, I disagree. They don’t need to be so dramatically changed; what they need is to encourage players to actually use the powerful tools they already have.

My recent idea is to give Medical Corps a full-civ healing bonus. Something like the Romans bonus which gives charge attacks AND faster production speed.

Medical Corps: All Units Heal 50% faster, Elephants regenerate 30hp/min.

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When it comes to civ buffs to Dravidians, I have already suggested Redemption and can also agree on some sort of eco bonus (food-focused), as long as it’s not going to be a change that gives them Knights, Husbandry, or Bloodlines.

I think you just skip through the entire game and directly go to the point where urumis worked ignoring everything else that happened prior to it. Dogao did a daut castle, lost a bunch of vills, knights lost to conversion and then he boomed to 157 vills. Its not something that you can expect to get in your favor every single time. And sparing Karambits and teutonic knights, any unique unit would have won the game.

If urumis are given the extra p.armor, closed map TG players will come up with a way of doing 100 elite urumi swordsmen, get some solid wins and those who were against will cry to revert it. But the unit and the civ will continue to remain unusable for most 1v1 since it wouldn’t have addressed the actual problem the civ has.

Not a single game against opponents his level and failed plenty of times to players considerably weaker than him trying to do this “mastapizza”.

Finally to everyone who watches Viper’s YouTube. Him doing certain strategies for content doesn’t make them viable. He has won against 2400+ players with just Korean towers, Japanese towers, Flaming camels, Persian elephants, Malay fish traps in Arabia, teutonic knights and siege onagers, Khmer only scorps even before they got the farm bonus etc. As you might have noticed, most of these are just meme and not something he can actually do when playing his level in tournament. It’s mostly against weaker opponents and after a bunch of failed attempts. You can very well do any of this when you’re playing someone 500 elo lower than you.
Doesn’t mean those are usable or viable strategies.

Once again the theoretical of 3.26 per rattan hit like that’s what the opponent is going to use instead of monks or siege or their own imperial skirms. If you use too little, it adds negligible value. If there’s too many, the opponent ignores to push elsewhere to exploit the mobility.
Elephant archers have been well discussed much before Dynasties of India was released. They’re just flawed by design and unusable until you push with them. OG Indians despite being a broken civ could actually never use them. They stayed a DM niche. Same story for Dravidian elephant archers.

a proportional amount of generic halberdiers could do that comfortably. Dravidian halberdiers can do it even better because of +3 attack. there’s no need to delay yourself by waiting for 5 castles, elite upgrade and producing a much more expensive unit. Like several other infantry unique units like teutonic knights, samurais, urumis don’t have a purpose and don’t add much value over generic infantry. You want to protect units against cavalry you have halberdiers and you want to fight other infantry or skirms, you have champions. You’re against stronger champion like Japanese, you have hand cannoneers or Arbalesters. All cheap, efficient and built from buildings which can be easily replaced if destroyed.

Two stages where he wasn’t queuing urumis. Early imp where he needed monks to convert the raiding knights, trevs to push out the forward castles and skirms to kill any potential rattan archers. Like 11:13:00-11:17:00 in that video. Then he queued up urumis constantly till like 11:23:00 At that point he was out of gold. 0 vills on gold, about 700 im the stockpile, only mine left in the front and exposed. Either ways he produced them whenever he logically could.

You can go for them to flex your position after you know you’re super ahead or take a gamble that your opponent won’t push you but they’re not a necessary unit nor are they the ideal option. And this isn’t just for urumis. Many nonranged infantry unique units are niche and are produced only when they add so much more value over generic ones. Only huskarls, obuch, ghulam, woad raiders are considerably better than generic infantry and are worth their costs.

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I think we’ve already discussed economic bonuses fairly extensively. Giving them a bonus similar to the Slavs would give them a win rate curve similar to the Slavs as well. This would make very little difference in the places where they are currently weak, but would make them inordinately powerful in the late game.

And they are simply not going to ever get an increase in agility, because that is directly contradictory to the theme of the civilization.

You missed the point of the video I posted again. The point I was making is that urumi Swordsmen have a very sharp transition between uselessness and usefulness. Yes, both players made mistakes, yes, the other player could potentially have had more archers, but all of that is irrelevant to the fundamental point which is, if you have more than a certain threshold of urumi Swordsmen, they abruptly transition from weak to very strong, and this heavily restricts ways in which they can be buffed. Given the civilizations profound weakness to monks, I am all the more inclined towards giving them plus one damage on their charge attack, so they can kill monks in a single hit.

Don’t get me wrong; I certainly don’t think that the civilization is in an ideal state right now. But I also think it is nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be. It simply has a very different play style, one that many players are simply unwilling to adapt to. Like your complete unwillingness to use elephant archers in their ideal environment. People keep telling me that they are weak to monks, and I keep killing monks with them without any problems whatsoever. People keep telling me that you need 20 plus of them to do anything, and I keep mixing them in in smaller numbers and they work just fine.

My only complaint about dravidian elephant archers is how long it takes to heal them up, hence my above suggestion that medical corps increase healing rates across the board. Coincidentally, that also functions as a mid-game economic bonus, exactly what some like you have been asking for.